Ed Butts

Ed Butts was born in Toronto, but because his family moved around a lot, he grew up in Cape Breton, Guelph, and Mississauga. He considers Guelph, where he lives now, his home town. He was the only boy in his family, and had to compete with three sisters for the bathroom.

As a kid he loved hockey (and still does), but he also had a great interest in history and adventure stories. His favorite books were Huckleberry Finn and Last of the Mohicans. In high school he was the class nerd who actually liked Shakespeare, and would get library books about Greek mythology. History and English were his best subjects. (Math was a disaster. Still is.). He graduated from the University of Waterloo’s Department of Integrated Studies after successfully completing a degree project that involved History, English, and Folklore.

He has worked at many different jobs, but the one he enjoyed most was teaching for eight years at a school in the Dominican Republic. It remains one of his most memorable experiences.

When he was a teenager, he started writing short stories, articles, and sometimes bad poetry. He enjoyed writing, and on the rare occasion when a magazine actually published his work, he was overjoyed, especially when he received payment in complimentary copies or a cheque for ten dollars.
Over the years, he has learned that writing can be fun and rewarding, but it can also be hard work. But hard work doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t like what you do; it can simply mean that you do your best to get results you can be proud of.

Ed has written books about explorers, adventurers, criminals, hidden treasure, disasters, mysteries, and daring women. For each of these projects he had to dig into historical accounts to find factual information. He considers himself a “history detective”. That’s why he found the idea for a book on the history of police so interesting. To the best of his knowledge, nobody has done such a book for young readers.

Ed did much of his research in the library, searching stacks of history books and biographies for information on the evolution of policing around the world. This search turned up some very useful information. He also found a few good leads on the internet. He would advise young researchers to always doublecheck information on the internet, because it can sometimes be unreliable. Ed also got expert information from police departments in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

His advice to aspiring writers? “Learn the basics of grammar and composition. That’s absolutely necessary. It might seem boring, but once you have it, you can do great things. It’s like a painter learning the importance of mixing colors. Shut off your electronic gadgets for a while and tune into the world around you. There’s a lot to be learned just by being observant. Finally, the first three rules of writing are: revise, revise, revise. The fourth rule is, be patient. Don’t give up on yourself.”

Ed lives with his daughter Melanie and grandson Austin in Guelph, Ontario. He enjoys riding his rickety old bicycle and reading. He intends to keep on writing books because he has a lot of good ideas for stories he thinks people will like.

Annick Press books
by Ed Butts